Archive For The “Ireland” Category

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The spectacular Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most well-known features and popular tourist destinations. The cliffs extend for five miles, rising over 600ft from the water surface at their highest point. More than a million people visit the cliffs each year, but relatively few have an opportunity to view them from the water….

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Valentia Island

Valentia Island

In 1866, the first transatlantic telegraph cable was completed between Newfoundland and Valentia Island. Prior to the cable, messages between Europe and North America were sent by sea and took two weeks, or more, to reach their destination. Valentia Island also is known for it’s slate quarry that produced slate for the Paris Opera House,…

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Cahersiveen

Cahersiveen

16th-century Ballycarbery Castle is a modern structure compared to two other fortifications near Cahersiveen: the ring forts of Leacanabuile and Cahergal. Ring forts are difficult to date, but archeologists believe these were built in the 9th and 10th centuries. We visited all three on a bicycle tour of the area, and also took in the…

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Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael is one of the most remarkable places we’ve ever visited. Sometime in the 6th-8th centuries, Christian monks landed on this rugged and remote island off the southwest coast of Ireland. Over the centuries they built a monastery with beehive huts and a chapel high atop the island’s peaks, and extensive steps to reach…

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Ballinskelligs

Ballinskelligs

Our day trip from Crookhaven Harbour to Ballinskelligs Bay took us past some dramatic coastal scenery and impressive feats of engineering, including The Bull, where a lighthouse perches atop a fantastic tunnel-pierced rock, and the well-preserved monastic ruins on UNESCO World Hertiage site Skellig Michael. Trip highlights from June 19th, 2017 follow. Click any image…

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Crookhaven

Crookhaven

Crookhaven Harbour is among the nicest anchorages in southwestern Ireland. We spent three nights there and visited Brow Head, Mizen Head, and of course stopped at the famous O’Sullivans to enjoy “The most southerly pint in Ireland”. The video below shows aerial footage of Dirona and the harbour, and trip highlights from June 17th through…

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Mizen Head

Mizen Head

The Mizen Head Signal Station was built in 1909 to sound a fog signal warning ships away from the dangerous headland at the southwest tip of Ireland. The signal station sits on the tip of the peninsula (far left on the photo above), cutoff from the mainland by a deep chasm, with a bridge spanning…

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Brow Head

Brow Head

During the Napoleonic-era, a signal tower was built at Brow Head near Crookhaven, Ireland. A century later, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph company installed telegraphic equipment on Fastnet Rock and a station on Brow Head. Passing ships signaled the Fastnet Lighthouse and the keepers relayed the message wirelessly to Brow Head for transmission to the final…

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Sherkin to Crookhaven

Sherkin to Crookhaven

Leaving Sherkin Island, we checked out the tiny harbour on Cape Clear Island, then did two laps around Fastnet Rock before stopping for the night in beautiful Crookhaven Harbour, home of Ireland’s most southerly pint. En route we saw another castle and two ancient watchtowers, plus plenty of dramatic scenery. Trip highlights from June 16,…

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Baltimore, Ireland

Baltimore, Ireland

The 55-foot Baltimore Beacon, known locally as "Lot's Wife", marks the entrance to Baltimore Harbour atop a 300-ft cliff. James knew from the moment we arrived that Jennifer, who suffers from the extreme inability to resist a good view, would find a way to reach the Beacon. So he wasn’t at all surprised when she…

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Sherkin Island

Sherkin Island

Sherkin Island in Baltimore Harbour has ruins dating from the 1400s, including a castle and a friary. The island also has some excellent walking trails with views to Baltimore Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean, and two pubs, also with water views. Trip highlights from June 12th through 14th at Sherkin Island, Ireland. Click any image…

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Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale was a wonderful place to make landfall into Ireland. As is often the case, the original idea to go to Kinsale was passed on by a blog reader. The town is considered the gourmet capital of Ireland, which is one of the reasons we decided to enter Ireland here rather than at Crosshaven on…

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Old Head of Kinsale

Old Head of Kinsale

The Old Head of Kinsale was a welcome sight for us at the completion of our 2,800nm passage from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. With a sunny weather forecast, we took the opportunity to make the 8-mile bike ride to get a closer look and take in the sweeping view from the restored signal tower….

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Two Laps Around Fastnet Rock

Two Laps Around Fastnet Rock

Fastnet Rock is the most southern point in Ireland and the light on it is known world-wide, partly because it is the turn-around point of the classic ocean sailing race of the same name. We’ve now had Dirona at the location of several notable offshore races, including Vic-Maui, Transpac (San Pedro to Diamond Head), Sydney…

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James Fort

James Fort

Construction began on James Fort in 1602 after the English victory over the Spanish and Irish in the 1601 Battle of Kinsale. The fort fell into neglect, and became known as “Old Fort”, once contruction began in 1678 on Charles Fort across the harbour. While James Fort isn’t nearly the tourist attraction that Charles Fort…

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Kinsale Pub Crawl

Kinsale Pub Crawl

Despite our best efforts, we didn’t come close to visiting all the pubs in Kinsale, let alone all the restaurants. The problem seems as challenging as in Halifax, NS, despite Kinsale having a population of only 5,000 compared to Halifax’s 316,000. We’re told that at one point Kinsale had 38 pubs. And we didn’t have…

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Charles Fort

Charles Fort

Charles Fort was completed in 1682 at Kinsale and is one of the largest military installations in Ireland. The fort is open to the public and receives over 85,000 visitors a year. It’s an easy 45-minute waterfront walk from the marina, with two pubs along the way. Trip highlights from May 27th in Kinsale, Ireland…

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Cork, Ireland

Cork, Ireland

Cork is Ireland’s second largest city and is about a 45-minute bus ride from Kinsale. The main reason we went there was to pickup a SIM card for cellular data, and after we we had a great time touring around this urban but historic river city and, of course, checking out a couple of pubs….

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